Location: La Carpio and Quiritissi Territory

Walking down the cement roads, we came across a day camp full of kids and life. Timid at first, we stood in amazement at the kids resilient smiles. Then before we knew it, we each had at least two kids trying to climb up on us. We all put them on our backs and played, what seems to be their favorite game, Landa (tag). It was an eye-opening experience to see what a simple game could bring the children so much happiness. The game itself brought back memories from our childhood, reminding us of how similar we all actually are. The children, although surrounded by poverty, are hopeful and live in the moment. It is refreshing to hear the laughs, and it reminds us why we are here.

To make their lives a little bit better and reinsure the hope they have. Later in the afternoon we climbed a steep path, which leads to the indigenous territory. There we will meet Juan Sanchez’s son, and he taught us about his life. He and the other 2,000 inhabitants of the land and live in harmony with nature. They perform purifying ceremonies, which we took part of. Once arriving home we talked about our experiences and then played a game of 21. We then went to bed happy and pure. Another perspective..I asked her how you found yourself here. She responded, “I did find myself here.” My mom would love this woman. She has great compassion for others. I woke up today to the sun shining and the birds chirping. It was beautiful. The fruit here is amazing! The pineapple is so fresh and sweet and the rich banana that compliments it perfectly. We then took a bus to La Carpio (a poor community where we work). It was beautifully shocking. I couldn’t believe that people actually lived in such shanty homes. The house was a concrete wall with rusty tin roofs.

The city sewer system is out in the open and runs alongside the homes. The smell is horrid. I saw Gail again today. She is very well educated and taught us about how poverty exists. We went to the school that Gail started and it was amazing. All the kids rushed up to us and were so happy to see us. I love them all. I especially loved one girl who I believe had cerebral palsy. We drew together and laughed. She had died hair and makeup that was well done but she was very thin. It makes me happy that she is being cared for. We had lunch in La Carpio and it was wonderful. It was rice and beans with salad and a big piece of pineapple. I bought some hot sauce at the store below the humanitarian foundation. It was so good. I shared it with my counselors. Then we drove to the mountains where we met an indigenous shaman. It was so cool and culturally rich. We took part in a ceremony to get our bad spirits away. Then we made sugar cane water which was sooo good.